Poke-fans around the world are excited by the announcement of Pokemon Sword and Shield for the Nintendo Switch.
The games will be set in the Galar Region, which seems to be based on the U.K. Galar is not the first region to be inspired by a real-life location. As a matter of fact, all of them are.
Let’s take a look at the real-life locations that have inspired the other Pokemon Regions.
Kanto = Kanto, Japan
Kanto is the first region introduced in the Pokemon franchise. It serves as the primary location in all Generation I games and their Gen III remakes, as well as the recently released Switch titles Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!
Kanto becomes available to visit in Pokemon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, but only after the main story is completed.
The Kanto region is inspired by and named after the real life location of Kanto in Japan. Like its fictional counterpart, the real life Kanto is a hub for technological and scientific pursuits.
Johto = Kansai, Japan
The Johto region is situated just west of Kanto, and North of Sinnoh. It serves as the primary location of Pokemon Gold and Silver, and its remakes, HeartGold and SoulSilver.
Johto seems to present a greener, healthier landscape as opposed to the Kanto, with a much more laid back atmosphere. The people of Johto choose to put their energy into farming and agriculture. Berries grow easily in Johto, while Kanto berries often struggle.
This reflects the real life region of Kansai, on which Johto is based. Kansai is known for its rich, volcanic soil.
Hoenn = Kyushu, Japan
The Hoenn region is just south of Sinnoh. It serves as the location of Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, and the remakes OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire.
Hoenn contains more water-based routes than the locations that came before it. When on land, the weather is quite a bit warmer than other Pokemon Regions.
In game, the reason for this is likely the influence of Kyogre and Groudon. However, the climate and water based routes are likely inspired by Kyushu, the Japanese island that served as Hoenn’s inspiration.
Sinnoh = Hokkaido, Japan
Sinnoh serves as the primary location of Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum.
Sinnoh is one of the larger Pokemon Regions. It is divided down the middle by Mt. Coronet.
The Sinnoh region is mostly based on the Island of Hokkaido, with some inspiration from the nearby islands of Sakhalin and Kunashir. Many of Sinnoh’s towns and cities are positioned based on real life locations in Hokkaido.
Mt. Coronet, which divides the two halves of Sinnoh, is based on the real-life Ezo mountain chain.
Unova = New York
Unova is the main setting of Pokemon Black and White, as well as their sequels. It is considerably far away from the first four regions.
Unova has more cities than any of the other regions. It is also the most highly populated region, with nine hundred and forty nine citizens.
Unova is based on New York, both the city and state. This makes it the first region to be inspired by a location outside of Japan.
Castelia City is based on Lower Manhattan, and Nimbasa City is inspired by Broadway.
Kalos = Metropolitan France
Kalos is the main setting for Pokemon X and Y. In the anime, it is far enough away from the other regions that Ash has to travel there via plane.
The Kalos region is inspired by the northern half of Metropolitan France. Santalune Forest is based on the Forest of Fontainebleau, France’s biggest Tourist forest, while Lumiose City is based on Paris.
Alola = Hawaii
Alola is the main setting of Pokemon Sun and Moon. Rather than a single solid region, Alola is an archipelago of islands.
The culture in Alola is vastly different than the other Pokemon Regions. Alolans share a deep, almost spiritual bond with their Pokemon. Rather than the Gym Challenge of other regions, Alolan trainers must undertake a series of Island trials.
Alola is based on Hawaii. This makes it the second region to be based on a U.S state.
We can’t wait to see what U.K inspired locations are featured in Pokemon Sword and Shield when the games are released later this year.